MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — Passenger rail service was partially restored Monday in southern Pakistan, a day after a train derailed in the region, killing at least 30 people and injuring scores, officials said. Families were holding funerals for the victims of the crash.
According to Aqeel Ahmed Qureshi, a doctor at a hospital in the district of Nawabshah in Sindh province, 27 bodies of the victims have been handed over to relatives for burials while three bodies have still to be identified.
Dozens of injured people remained in hospital as funerals got underway on Monday. Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq said engineers had opened a probe into the train accident.
“Unfortunately,” he told reporters, “we don’t have enough funds to properly maintain our aging railway tracks, and yesterday’s train crash apparently took place because of it.”
Sunday’s crash happened when 10 cars of the Hazara Express train went off the tracks near the Sarhari railway station. Train traffic was suspended, and work on the main line is still underway, Baloch said.
On Monday, local television stations showed engineers clearing the railway track. “We have been told by engineers that the rail service will be fully restored today,” Baloch said.
After the crash, many passengers complained that they were waiting for the resumption of the train service from Karachi to the eastern Punjab province.
Authorities say military and paramilitary troops helped rescue workers to get trapped passengers. out The most seriously injured were transported to distant hospitals in military helicopters for better treatment.
Train accidents in Pakistan are often the result of poor railway infrastructure and official negligence.
In 2021, at least 65 people were killed in Sindh province when two trains collided in the district of Ghotki. In 1990, a packed passenger train plowed into a standing freight train in southern Pakistan, killing 210 people in the worst rail disaster in the nation’s history.